RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Let's Infuse Everything

Let's infuse vodka with horseradish, for example.
Publish date:
April 7, 2015
fruit, cheese, Bread, fondue, vodka, Recipe Of The Week

Welcome back to the hottest and freshest installment of Recipe of the Week, my favorite place on the internet to talk about food, drink, and all the food/drink-related feelings. Last week, the most up-voted comment was from lyz143:

Like I said in the comments, this is a cookie-positive safe space. I am always open to talking about any food on any Recipe of the Week, regardless of that week's topic.

I think eating twelve Samoa cookies is a defiant act of heroism in the spirit of outlaw country. (I have been listening to a lot of outlaw country recently.) Such an act deserves much praise and of course a trophy. That trophy is "Mama Tried" by Merle Haggard, because this song always plays in my head when I devour a tasty treat that my mother didn't allow in the house. (My mama didn't raise no crazy food writer, but here we are.)

On to the recipe.

The most up-voted food-on-a-stick recipe comes to us from CaponeAlonious:

There are a lot of fondue recipes out there, but I decided to go the beer cheese route, and adapted this recipe from

Easy Beer Cheese Fondue with Stuff on Sticks


  • 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar
  • 8 ounces Swiss
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • Fresh-ground pepper to taste
  • One garlic clove, halved
  • 12 ounces of German beer (I used Oktoberfest.)
  • Your favorite hot sauce
  • Things to put on sticks. I used French bread, apples, and pears.


  1. If you are using bread, French or otherwise, cube it up and put it on sticks. Broil them in the oven until they have some color on them, take them out and set aside. If you want to assemble your fruit sticks ahead of time, you can spray them with a little lemon juice to prevent all of your gorgeous fruit from browning.
  2. Combine shredded cheese, flour, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir everything around until the cheese is well-coated with the other ingredients.
  3. Take whatever pot you use for melty-cheese purposes and give it a good rub down with the garlic clove.
  4. Pour in the beer and heat over medium-low until most of the foam has dissipated.
  5. Add in your delicious cheese, little bits at a time, until the everything is melted and combined.
  6. Pour into a bowl and drizzle with hot sauce.
  7. Stick fruit and bread into it.
  8. Burn your mouth.
  9. Get over it.
  10. Repeat.

You might think that this food on a stick is limited in its range of motion, but you would be wrong. The fondue is thick enough so that it stays on the fruit and/or bread, leaving you free to roam around while consuming your delicious food on a stick. I ate that entire tray while cleaning up the kitchen.

Such tastiness is deserving of a trophy and your trophy, CaponeAlonious, is "Illegal Smile" by John Prine, because a bowl melted cheese is my key to escape reality. (Also, I just really like the lyric about the bowl of oatmeal.)

Moving on.

Since moving to Portland, I have developed many new favorites. I have a new favorite burger (the Little Bird Burger, which is FIVE DOLLARS after 10 p.m.), a new favorite happy hour (Tasty n Alder), and a new favorite way to drink vodka.

I've never been a huge vodka fan, but a little Russian restaurant called "Kachka" is changing my world. Their cocktails are great and their food is fantastic, but it's their infused vodkas that keep me coming back over and over. The vodkas range from pretty standard to super premium, and you can order them in individual servings (of 30, 60 or 100g) or you can be like me and get a flight, be it one of their expertly curated samplings or something of your own invention.

Personally, I have a hard time ordering anything but a flight of infusions and recently I've been ordering 100g of just horseradish vodka --plus some of their house-made pickle juice -- to share with no one.

Obviously, horseradish vodka is something I can make at home and now that I have all of my stuff out of storage -- oh happy day! -- I plan to do just that. In fact, I plan to go crazy and infuse all of the things, not just vodka, but oils, vinegar, and anything else that can be infused.

I know you guys must have some good ideas along these lines, so tell me please: What do you like to infuse? Vodka? Olive Oil? Simple Syrups? What are your favorites?

Is you favorite horseradish vodka?

My favorite is horseradish vodka.